Name-Dropping


The kids are doing their kidly things again today, just the way they always do (until their hormones start flaring and they become walking orbs of self-pity just wallowing in their existential dross for as long as would be necessary for humans working on that whole enlightenment bit while also losing faith in the authorities once-espoused as the be-all end-all for retrograde composition of exquisite fanfare technology (though very little else when you actually think about it for longer than 10-15 seconds at a time)). Our lord and savior once said “you know, when it comes right down to it, I’m the one who created everything, so you can just go ahead and sell that model train collection, Deborah.” I don’t know who Deborah is in this particular verse, to be honest, but the statement still carries plenty of weight even if you don’t engage in any specific name-dropping activities.

Cakemakers


Gateway drugs and experiences have no bearing on our ralphymeters today or any other day (as far as we know), though I’m going to need you to disengage in trivial pursuits for long enough get a read on just why it is that cakemakers hold no stations below law-enforcement.

The answer is easy enough to reach, you simply need to focus your attentions where they can really do some investigative good.

All right, I’ll have to just tell you then, if that’s going to be your attitude.

When you strip it all bare, the contemporary American cakemaker is commonly behooved to fabricate goods for the purpose of selling them at the market. Law-enforcers make it their business to interrupt people’s activities and impose limitations upon them, resulting in a streak of pride and occasional lawlessness. Paid to uphold the law, they often embody the viewpoint that certain laws don’t apply to them, sometimes culminating in displays of pseudo-authority that end up with dead people on their hands (or at least as a result of their handiwork).

Cakemakers just have to crack a few eggs.

The Bellwether


To the chagrin of the motorbiking penguin-flipper, we carry old prairie weights for a regardless happenstance. Well, regardless, we’re quite unkempt for the situation–the scenario, if we will. But it’s okay, we’re all living some version of this or any other truths, not to be degraded for any reason or purpose.

The bellwether, or weather of bells–as I’d sometimes rather say–has stood in direct opposition to the canine point of equilibrium separating our ancestors from the ravenous wolves who once stormed down our doors for even just a hint of carnage. But times change. People grow and domesticate those pesky sheep they’d once only counted prior to slumber, involuntarily offering a small portion of their flocks to satisfy the taxation meted out by the gods that our dogs only wish they could be.

Family First


Gee willikers, Ebony! I sure as sugar won’t be able to make it out to that party tonight. Look–believe me–it’s not that I don’t want to. You know that! It’s just that I have so much cleaning up to do around my place. I’ve been putting it off for ages, and now my roommate’s dad is going to be in town for a few days–spur of the moment thing as usual–and he’d rather stay with us than go to a hotel because he wants to be closer to his son. I mean, I get it, they have a very strong relationship. I admire that dynamic, but of course also resent it at the present. Why do I have to be the one to pretty up our sty before he gets here? Just because I made 90% of the mess doesn’t mean I should be cleaning a full 100% of the space. How is that fair? The displaced 10% probably represents another 40 minutes of cleaning that I’m going to have to do instead of living it up with you! Trust me, I’ve tried getting around this, but there’s just no possible alternative. The next time your brother’s having a going-away shindig before shipping out to do a tour of duty in a war-torn expanse of the Middle Eastern desert, I am SO there.

Folksy Ties


Ever more dissatisfactory than the wrought inheritance brought forth by bankruptcy of character, our thoughts of Swiss cheese benevolence really have no bearing on what it means to be a profitable avocado salesman in this neck of the woods. Don’t get me wrong, I have long-espoused numerous methods for informing individuals of their folksy ties to the apocalypse, but I choose to evaluate sparingly, for the more a person speaks his or her mind, the more likely they are to compromise their mystique. I don’t personally take my old rapturous censorship more seriously than the average ridged potato chip, though perhaps I should. Perhaps I should. Egads! All this food talk has done me the ages-old disservice of fabricating hunger pangs when my stomach really had no business engaging in such a thought sequence. Well, my stomach has no business engaging in any thought sequences, but that’s neither here nor there.

Thanks, Dad


“Parallel entities befit madness, my son.

“You should never turn your back on those other dimensions our forward-thinking predecessors have been touting for some time now, or your attention will lose its cosmic importance, the aggregate of local souls gradually easing you out of their observational patterns–though it’s the last thing they would do if given the choice.

“While you are charged with keeping your attention beyond the present actions contained within our visible plane, you mustn’t let the responsibility weigh on your consciousness too much; although you know everything is simply an illusion, you are an integral part of the chain of illusions keeping our earthly consciousness afloat.

“When you shudder, know the implications. When two birds meet on a wire and appear to converse, understand that their dialogue fits into our space on a level wholly undisturbed by our own idea of language. No need to fret over payment, my first lesson is always free.”

“Thanks, dad.”

——

First draft posted on 10/12/11,
originally entitled #40

Waking Lives


Informally wedged between a significant mile of alterations and a limitless power of inventory tallying, my golf ball’s normally-understated carryover floundered briefly–the northern lights had obscured my vision, rendering my lie-finding skills ineffectual on this particular fairway (perhaps I shouldn’t have made a habit of getting in a tight nine after midnight, but free golf is free golf).

At least I got the chance to gawp at the Canada geese flapping over the course, wings beating black against the nuclear waste green, a cacophony outmatched only by their aggressive calls to each other, expressing–what I intuitively deemed to be–awe at the display they rarely see. Though you know, travelers of their caliber get many more opportunities than your typical vertebrates, having inhabited the skies every year of their waking lives.

——

First draft posted on 9/26/11,
originally entitled #20

Wooden Spoons


Double up the foundation dust,
trouble finding lurky lust while wincing
under beveled falls; egregious
concertina riffs agree with Wes
(our father’s postman): the passion
never does leave the feet.

Snowcapped griffins found asylums
rich in iron, poor in aprons.
Mythology holds no place
in institutions of higher psychology.

Where reprimands come for assurance,
our collective mothers grease their wooden spoons.
We may only marvel as to which grease traps
were harvested for such a folksy purpose.

You insist that I have a soul for dingers,
I retort that your trout lost its diaper yesterday.
You ask what that means, and while
seething in your stupor, I quip
“which radishes peak first?
Why, only the early growers, son.”

——

First draft posted on 6/11/11,
originally entitled #10

Very Few Individuals


Untendered through dire circumstance, Felicia done bit the enlarged peregrine bug burrowing under Frenchie’s Bakery on Hydrangea Court, six exits from the McDonald’s on Nash.

Myself, I tend to bite the largess of the enraged siren-watchers (from the circuitous balcony-tenders on their vacation from daily toiling in the everglade-type peat bogs in lower Georgia (very obscure, you wouldn’t know about them)).

As it stands, very few individuals truly contemplate the serene orange-gargling once espoused by citrus connoisseurs a world over, and I have quite the time attempting to describe the passionate musings of madmen with more brains than common sense.

Phourit Gharl


Triumphance rarely conquers the spirit of the wide-ranging pituitary-minded poltergeist wrangler in his heartiest of times (from the Belgian Riviera to the Spanish beer mines the proletariat sent their kids to one fine Summer evening only to find that mines aren’t as fun as they’re cracked up to be); I find myself drawn toward the lively canary fields from my youth, where the kids and elderly alike would frolic in ways suitable to their particular stations. I would perform amateurish somersaults and insist that I would one day be a gold-medal gymnast, knowing full well that I’d probably have to settle for silver and a life of overall mediocrity, even though producing a silver medal in and of itself is quite impressive (from a layman’s standpoint).

Nevertheless, the frolicking would continue into the wee hours of the afternoon, when both the youths and the elders would need to be put down for naps by their respective caretakers. At such a bizarre turn of events that would otherwise be considered contrived, the caretakers would have a brief period of time all to themselves while their wards blissfully recharged their batteries. Seeing as how I was never awake under these circumstances, I have no idea as to what my au pair would have been doing at the time of my napping. However, I do have several theories being batted around in my head (not unlike the 1927 Yankees’ unfair demonstration of offensive firepower). I won’t bore you with the sheer volume of my ruminations, as those would only serve to emphasize my madness. I will, however, provide a few of the “greatest hits”, as it were.

But not today. That’s for a different time. For you see, in the time it took me to describe my aversion to pointing out the minute details of my meandering mind, the youths and elders have already awoken from their sun-drenched siestas, relegating their caretakers to once again looking out for soiled diapers and skinned knees/broken hips. Ah, well… c’est la vie, meine Freundin.

(#373)


We are the TOXIC Group:

Tastemakers
Obligating
Xylophones
Into
Conversation

Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!®
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.

Parlor


Perusing the parlor of the Parisian Peruvian consulate wouldn’t be so difficult, were it not for the giant window-washing syndicate purporting to require seven hours a day, every day, to free the egalitarian edifice from smudges and insect remnants that would otherwise mar the immaculate façade and strip its dignity away through a slight uptick in entropic rate that would, over the course of two to three generations (depending on who you speak to on the topic) detereriorate that aesthetic je ne sais quoi, anywhere from 14 to 17% per decade on average. Extrapolating from there, we’re looking at complete disavowal of the skin-deep school of architectural and biological beauty that allowed our “modern civilization” to “flourish” under the spell of charming artifice.

So good luck ever getting into that parlor, and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Ramshackle Paradise


Onset guerrilla warfare builds a stun gun for us all to accept the northern aggression as nothing more than an attempt to belittle the profession of soothsaying. But very little can persuade the sanctimonious union soldiers to just stand in line with a musket and a lollipop, each one hoping they’ll be the lucky one-and-only who gets an extra-long exposure in the makeshift photography tent.

Meanwhile, in the ramshackle paradise of our own inclusiveness:

Enraged and otherwise narrower than an encumbered and intuitive giraffe whisperer, Ralph decided that now would be the time to really just go for the gusto. “I mean, come on. I get so many chances to stand up for myself, but what do I do? Settle for omnipresence like a jerk. Man, I would kill to have omnipotence! Whatever, I’d probably just screw it up anyway. I mean, I seem to have this innate method for sensing how people around me are reacting at virtually all times, but I can’t for the life of me seem to get with the capitalist program and ascribe a monetary value to that skill. Chalk it up to laziness, or perhaps genuine concern coupled with an unwillingness to contribute to our species’ unfolding downfall. Jeez, I need a lollipop.”

Bandwagon Antics


In light of this glut of well-delivered monologues here tonight, I’m convinced that we humans–because I’m definitely a human, don’t go running around and telling your friends otherwise–quite possibly have a fighting chance in this thing we call life amongst the celestial bodies (well, at least that’s what I call it). While by no means a guarantee, I can certainly exclaim that creativity should–dare I say must–eventually overtake the box-in-box mentality that has, thus far, led to the perpetuation of flocking masses of mundanity, sometimes riled to the point of stampeding.

Those of us who can visualize the ideal representation of creative humanity will be sick and tired of bowing down to tyrannical individuals who would prefer to destroy rather than glorify the artistic inspiration leading to craft (for craft’s sake). In the eyes of the inscrutable free-market economist, if something that requires a great deal of skill also happens to net you a tidy profit, then it will obviously be quite desirable. In the face of such bandwagon antics, it takes the uncompromising individual to declare “I am going to do this because I love it, no matter how minute the level of compensation.”

Appetite for the Absurd


Heralded as the Jonestown Network alternative to Stem, the Fruitful Terrier Sitter Extraordinaire, Pango Pango Junction packs quite the wallop when it comes to pure, unadulterated edutainment at a reasonable price. Parked at the intersection of broad leaf swelling and matriarchal patronage, I defy anybody to come away without some kind of interesting new trivia in their noggin by the end of each episode.

Before I agreed to subject myself to the bizarre ritual that is test-viewing a public television program for the determination of proper demographic distribution, I thought “oh jeez, here goes another several hours of my life that I’m never getting back. And right on the heels of finishing up my kite-flying apprenticeship at Old American [for Profit] University, too.”

But, being the good sport that I am, I didn’t even balk at the dubious honor. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the show’s producer and I had a bit of a fling a few holiday seasons ago, and that we still flirt pretty heartily with each other. I’m a real sucker for shallow intimacy, especially if it’s spread out over the course of several years, where I can put the person/people out of mind for a while and reconnect with that polarizing animal magnetism as though we’re on a sinking ship/divebombing plane/bucking bronco… I guess it would be tough to get two of us on one of those beasts at the same time, but you get my drift.

You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this topic. Not to wax depressing, but living alone has afforded me the time to step back and reflect upon the foundation of relationships at their very essence of innate human fragility. I’ve come to develop the inconvenient understanding that I was never meant to settle down with any one person, and the fairy tale love affair might as well go the way of the dinosaurs–at least, as far as I’m concerned. Damn, now I’ve gone and gotten myself all glum again! What the hell?!

But anyway, I promised Gwen I’d do her a favor by giving my unvarnished opinion on the latest project, so I borrowed her official showbiz flash drive and gave the first few episodes a spin. Yes, plural episodes. Just shooting a pilot clearly wouldn’t have been enough doing to properly showcase their dean’s list-caliber aptitude for creative enterprises. One could chalk it up to insurmountable confidence or simply an arrogance that never got flushed out of the system by regular beatings/embarrassments, but I reserve such judgments for the critics of the world.

Well, this review got a bit out of hand. Suffice it to say that I recommend Pango Pango Junction to anyone looking to spend some time on a contemporary spin of the “one-size-fits-all daytime head-scratcher” subgenre. Or simply anyone with a healthy enough appetite for the absurd.

Until we meet again, gentle reader–

Sardonicus Q. Jellyknife, Esq.

Regime


Chili leaks all over the seat,
failing to save itself
for a more opportune moment.
At times I’ll see that incontinence
and laugh, comforted
by my own relative regularity.

But when the cowbell strikes 10PM
and you’re losing your marbles
at a steady rate, none of these things
matter anymore. All you can do is
gesture wildly at the skies
with the hope of retrieving
that golden beacon of self-doubt
from the prickly impersonator of human emotion.

He’s been around a long time,
a real long time (if you want to get technical).
His name is inconsequential, for
one must only conjure his essence
to perpetuate his unholy regime.

DFM


Enter our eternal and infernal friend,
Deflatermouse–
careful about the point he makes when scrimmying across the kitchen floor in a fairly affluent suburban subdivision that would otherwise say it’s been treated well by the rodents and mongrels of the world. Only DFM (as the folks in the know have referred to him) gets a pass–you know, for sheer name novelty that has nothing to do with his aptitude for deflating himself (or others) and everything to do with occupying the (then) hovel of Fretful Fred, a beleaguered baritone at the peak of malaise and circumspection.

“Well hello there, little fella.” DFM pauses, startled to be addressed in such a cordial way.

“You’re the first visitor I’ve had in quite some time!” DFM appears to be intently listening to Fred, if only to take in the sonorous quality of his voice.

“Take a load off, friend! I don’t have much of anything to offer, but I’m sure you’re fairly adept at fending for yourself at this point.” DFM then immediately proceeds to scrimmy away, marking the exact moment in which his fabled moniker first graced Fred’s consciousness.

Fretful Fred considers himself a bit of a wordsmith, in addition to his accomplishments of the stage and screen. It took about two to three seconds to formulate the nickname, during which time there were numerous cognitive connections taking place, not at all dissimilar to the series of adjustments that a world-class athlete must make while performing the repetitive tasks that put them in that spotlight in the first place.

Our tiny rodent companion lit the fuse that led to a lightning-quick series of self-deprecating blasts. Every moment neglecting my life’s passions seems to just fuel the bonfire of self-hindrance, perpetuating a “woe is me” mentality that only spirals as the moments compile. My pesky new pal graced me with his presence at the intersection of doubt and fear, giving me the semblance of camaraderie, no matter how fleeting. But, just as all moments ever experienced by we, the mortal folk charged with hoisting the weight of the cosmos (whether or not weight is an accurate measurement), our fledgling friendship seems to have vanished as suddenly as it appeared.

“You’re a real Deflatermouse, you know that?” Freddy knew that an intellectual connection couldn’t be made, now or ever, but he continued to consciously deny the existence of a language barrier for the sake of infusing any wonder into his underwhelming existence.

Frontier


A healthy schnitzelfritz
is all we would need
for a cut-rate Dependence Day
on the Frontier of Many Puddings.

Ever since the rolling scabies epidemic
took its time crossing the Ganges,
twelve men have made it their business
to carve necklaces from oak stumps
as a way of reconnecting
with their wood nymph sides
while honing their dedication
to sculptural accessorizing.

After all those mentions of scriptural evangelizing, our Maker’s Dozen–as they like to call themselves–made the executive decision to secularize the whole process and peddle the wares of their ingenuity for a tidy profit (at least, wherever flea markets intersect with local art exhibitions).

One mustn’t mistake this ingenuity
for dogmatic commitment to peculiar crafting,
as these enterprising young monks
would be the first to tell you.
Frankly, these fellows have
a bit of a competitive streak in them
that has yet to be beaten out
by assumptive authoritarians,
and a near-endless supply
of stump-grade dynamite
only served to seal the deal.

Done with It


I leapt atop a cereal box
then realized
it wouldn’t support my weight–
I sank into the Cap’n Chocula,
lucky to miss scraping my knees
on the crunchy saccharine goodness.

The issue of scale
then presented itself
and I burst forth
from the cardboard capsule
(mysteriously missing
the plastic liner recommended
by the FDA and all those smart folks
protecting our health
and personal liberties), unscathed.

I guess I owe my roommate
a new box of cereal, though
I think I would offer more value
by illustrating to him
the sheer improbability
of spontaneous size-changing
without understanding the principles
behind such a mind-melting scrap
of anecdotal fodder.

Ultimately, the attempt to voice
my impression of the event
would see me chasing my tail,
flapping my jaw until creakiness ensues.
Nope, forget it. I’m just gonna
clean up this mess, get some more
fudgy grain poofs
and be done with it.

Sailor Parry


In the midst of a blight
brought forth by injustice,

Sailor Parry
abandoned his bow

in favor of an idiosyncratic approach
buoyed by the near-legitimate agency
with which so many people
squabble on a near-daily basis.

Suffice it to say that he’s miserable now.
The life on the sea was a demanding one,
but nothing he couldn’t handle
(with a nice snifter of scotch
warming in his palm).

He’s not as much of a red tape connoisseur
as most folks sharing the cubicle farm,
and his frustration tends to surface
in the form of a lighthearted jibe
(sometimes misconstrued as unobstructed malice).

As the weeks and months pass,
Sailor Parry begins to doubt
the instinct that drew him
from the briny depths to the skyscrapers
of those self-professed modernographers
who derive satisfaction
from pushing the 21st Century agenda
as far as it can possibly go–and then some.

“All the world’s a sea, but some of it
parades around as a c-word.”

Roses


The ever-present Rumpelstiltskin type of orangeade
seems to have no connection to the ingenuity
of a person concerned with a corrupt bargain
and everything to do with a personal vendetta
to be meted out over the course of several decades,
if not millennia.

Such a skip in discourse may only lead some people
to believe of its malintent, but truly
there is nothing wrong with such a change in scale.
How else are we to judge our actions
against the actions of others in present or past?
How else are we to compare ourselves
to the species who specialize in longevity?
The trees out there, the mollusks, the fungi,
all of them. We’re just individual pinpricks
in their rearview mirrors, and it would take a miracle
for us to cause more than just a blip
on their collective radar screens.
How do you like those terrible mixed metaphors?
Yeah, it’s getting me pretty hot too, come to think of it.

Who needs any kind of inspiration anymore anyway?
It would seem as though folks
mainly just seek to consume
pleasant media at a reasonable price,
and anything falling outside of that window
must be judged much more critically,
since fewer people have sought it out.
And the ones who go out of their way to discover
such outlets must therefore–in their own minds–
be superior beings, leading to tirades
about their keen eyes and intellects
while we sit there right next to them
with a thumb up our ass, hoping only
to take that thumb and plug up their infernal nostrils.

“What is that intoxicating aroma? Roses?”

“No, genius, it’s my shit-covered finger. Why don’t you go off somewhere and have a time of it while you prank a local youth?”

“Why, you insubordinating little trolley-hopper, I’ll have you know that I earned this domineering nature through sheer pluck and grit. Also, possibly through piss and vinegar. Over the course of my years, I haven’t been able to differentiate the two, though you might say I’m a bit of a glutton for the cinema. Wait, what kind of critic am I? Shit, I forgot. A jack of all trades such as myself can only be concerned with where the next paycheck’s coming from.”

Reformation


Emerging catechisms chime
early and indifferent rhymes
to the whinging snicket of gender inequality
as though a period of turpentine turbulence
wouldn’t cost us all an arm and a leg.

Foolish?
Perhaps.

But you never know
when a reformation
will require encouragement
from our stunted brethren,
creative or otherwise,
in need of topical pain relief
and a more liberal flow
of aesthetic proclamations.

Protrusion Trudy


Protrusion Trudy
done did it this time,
dadgummit.
She jutted her elbow out
at just the wrong moment
and now
she has
a scrappy little flotsam/jetsam nugget
at her side
for at least the next couple full moons
(or until she has to
get her oil changed,
whichever comes first).

Poor ol’ Trudy couldn’t possibly
have seen that coming,
unless she were to
actually listen to her friends
every once in a while.

“Hey!
Don’t stick your elbow out there!
You could get a latcher,
or worse,
a lecher!”

The halfhearted plea
for common decency
will always fall
upon deaf ears
wherever Protrusion Trudy is concerned.
She goes on
to this very day,
whamming her elbows
into occupied space

“just the way God made me.”

Like Nobody’s Business


Individual
igloo ingredients
incentivize
through interpersonal intuition;
immediate instinct.

In this instance, Ingrid’s
icy and insipid insights
immolate indignation
from Indianapolis to Inglewood,
inflicting impersonal injustices

like nobody’s business.

Two Different Languages


Gratuitous vomiting noises seem to have permeated this otherwise lovely air today. But you know what? I could care less! It’s a gorgeous day and I’m out here walkin’ Stormin’ Normal, the long-haired dachshund. Believe you me, Normal is nothing but. He’d much rather prefer to chase rats around in the sewers than cultivate an image of military impunity and historical nickname significance. He does know how to storm about the neighborhood, but when it comes to commanding hundreds of thousands of troops, you might as well send a beagle out there in his place.

The vomiting noises have yet to cease here, I don’t quite know what to do about this. On the one hand, someone could be violently ill, necessitating first-responders on the scene. On the other hand, even if I were to be at the right place at the right time, there’s no way I could do the same good work of an EMT, and all I could do is hold their hand (if it’s not covered in vomit) and try to comfort them while the professional health-perpetuators make their way over.

Normy doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. The way I figure, if we can hear gratuitous vomiting noises from here, Norm should be able to smell the ensuing vomit and tug on the leash like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t ask me how I know, but Normy’s a bit of a vomit connisseur. He really digs it, in other words. I’ve tried countless times to break him of his obsession, but it’s like we’re speaking two different languages.

So unless Norm’s lost his incredible sense of smell, I’m certain that this person making the vomiting sound-effects really has no problem whatsoever with their digestion. More than likely, they’re trying to make a scene in front of their friends for money. Well, that’s just my assumption, since the only times I’ve acted up like that in front of my friends, some quantity of money was involved. But then again, if we were to go by the old adage that pushes the “friends are forever” line, I never did have any friends in the first place.

“Wild West”


Slammin’ the fit-o-deena–ground lengthwise across a bawdy expanse of thneeds
(which everybody needs)–we took our serenades elsewhere, confident in our knowledge of the occult (i.e. the back-stabbery and latent overall treachery that sorts itself out over the course of dozens of generations) and its ability to stall disbelief as one would when faced with a Mel Brooks-esque (or, to a lesser extent, Mel Blanc-ish) dilemma involving the safety of an entire town, where the hapless protagonist even agonizes over the insignificant-yet-unique blood splotch patterns on each and every last hitching post (with the hopes of creating a permanent photographical installment at the Getty and cementing his status as one of the pioneers of pre-modernized main street massacre legacy documentation that would span the seldom-understood and often-demonized “Wild West” (that is, if he has anything to say about it)).

ZSR


Zen Shoe Rodney eats wherever he wants
for only a dollar, never tips less than 1,000%.
Zen Shoe Rodney always walks on air.

God’s KneePod plays only the classic hits
from the comfort of just below His exalted lap
(lap construction brought to you
by the good and hardworking deities
at God-Be-Built Enterprises).
Only one KneePod exists, integrated seamlessly
into His sacred patellar tendon.
Good luck getting your mitts on it.

If one were to estimate its monetary value,
they would immediately burst into flames.
The concept of currency
may not be associated
with such an innovation
in pious music listening.

Zen Shoe Rodney boasts the spirit of a chipmunk,
but only for that observant type of folk.
Zen Shoe Rodney always walks on air.

Razzle-Dazzle


Tree inhabitants incorporate pidgin into their daily doings, dramatically increasing exchange-related transaction speeds while reducing neighborly kerfuffles.

Friend–can I call you friend? Friend, I have no business prognosticating, much less evangelizing. However, I do need to get something off my chest: fleas appear to have invaded my scalp’s furniture collection. Odd how they went straight for the chifforobe, bypassing the genuine marble vanity. I was sure to have gone the rest of my life without incident, had it not been for those meddling bugs.

At this point along my personal story arc, scratching itches has become so excruciatingly routine. I’m bored to tears here! Perhaps suspending my dignity and scratching bare skin on a nearby oak will infuse my existence with a tad more razzle-dazzle. At the very least, I’ll have a fashionable anecdote for my monologue at the Antelopes gathering on Thursday.

Hm, it would appear as though the squirrels and sparrows have reneged on their linguistic compromise. Shut the hell up, will ya? I’m tryin’ to scratch my ass on this here tree! Jeez… bunch of animals.

Worse for Wear


Prancy old gillibuddies throw knowledge around like softball medleys–paints display arrangements of pansies unknown to the local eye. Dancing sharpens the highly-regarded nasal passage remedies, whereas shanties never make fine remnants of dipstick ruination. There’s wreckage everywhere and I ain’t got no time for bird sex. “Fancy old patina-laden graham cracker factories have less of a use today than ever before,” Pantsy thinks to himself while milking his goats at least twice a day, unless he’s feeling a tad sluggish.

Antsy Nancy glares defiantly at the bronze statue of Labor Days past while she prays that the latest lancet treats her better. Worse for wear, it’s about time these surgeries start paying their dividends.

Impression


How many twelfths
do we need
to fit into a sixty-fourth’s
meatball hammer sharpener?
The answer may surprise you.
For you see, not too many
efficient affluent
fling mellifluous melodies,
seldom slaloming on slip ’n’ slides.

The humble technician
patiently asks: why
must I lose my trains of thought
on the bus, instead of losing
my buses of thought the train?

There’s really no dice
to be thrown about at this hour,
I checked. Monsieur Gary prefers
a more effervescent
state of tumult
for his emperor penguin’s
chagrined porcupine impression.

*AUDIO* Quick (Tasty) Morsels 3: No-Equity Limbo


NO-EQUITY LIMBO

Interest only reigns with the crack of that candy rope whip on the back of an immigrant jelly bean. That’s all the interest we can afford at this time, and our sweet tooth will just have to wait. Don’t you understand? This is crucial information we’ve come to obtain, and it’s important that you don’t just go pissing it away in a single afternoon. Your mother was right. You should have never joined that group of boys. They were nothing but trouble for you. They made you stay up late and forget to do your homework, and now look where you’ve ended up. Straight in the hall of shame, an apartment wanderer for life, essentially stuck in no-equity limbo and fit to be tied. How are you even going to deal with that? Did you develop any lucrative hobbies? I’m sure you didn’t. That must have been an afterthought. You were too busy finding the excitement in that first couple of seconds you spent roaming around and jumping at beasts who weren’t even planning to intimidate you.

07/20/2014

Plane


Well, what can we really do
at the end of the day,
aside from stapling our sorry sacks
to a sphincter of solidarity?

Ooh, that’s nasty. I shouldn’t be
unleashing such filth when
children
possessing such youth
are within earshot. I remember–
back when I was a child–when
that kind of filter just wasn’t
present in my mind’s eye.

I indeed regret that I didn’t
have the temerity to tell folks
(and, indeed, even my parents)
how their off-color language
off-put me. Every damn,
dang and darn chopped into me
like a rusty old hatchet–and
let’s not even mention
those other four-letter doozies.
But those were different times;
I was 23 then.
I’m 27 now, and my perspective
has matured magnificently.

What changed, you ask? Something
about my regular reading of
horoscopes and astrological charts
allowed me to unpack
my cognitive dissonances, yet
left me wanting more
from the universe and the planets
and the alignments and the
what have you. Is it all there
as a way of making us feel
more comfortable not knowing
the grand scheme of things,
a la benevolent overlords?

I reckon if we can’t truly see
the full picture, we might as well
get as large-scale
as we possibly can
while affixing as much
mathematical logic to it,
keeping in mind that everything
is more likely than not
an amalgamation of chaotic particles
flinging themselves at one another
at variable rates, and we’re
the unnecessary end result.

See, these are the kinds of thoughts
that can be had without
such a potty mouth! Now, if only
our president
could understand that, we’d be
in much better shape. But
you know what? I’ll leave
that speculation to the birds.
What kind of birds, you ask?
Gee willikers, I don’t know!
You pick one! I guess
I’m partial to crows
at the moment,
though I do like them egrets
and fincher-pinchers.

Okay, you got me, fincher-pinchers
aren’t actually animals—
that we know!

Well, at least in this plane.
There are no fictional
passerine passengers
allowed on flight #38674-012
to Fallas-Dwort Earth.
Truly.

Tempered — Pre-Primaries, 2016


Tempered by the blunt end
of a stainless steak knife,
throttled by a lack of anything
interesting to say–

say, how’s that weather?

Primary’s coming up,
don’t trust any of those clowns;
the whole system’s downright screwy anyway.
Can’t get behind those corporations
parading around as individuals,
CEOs making their dirty millions.

Can’t keep up this smalltalk,
I just want to scream
unintelligibly
at those crows hopping
over there. Who told them
they could have fun
while I’m around?

I can’t stand it
when others enjoy themselves,
especially animals. I can’t
tell them off
like I can a human, not that
I make it my business
to harass people.
The closest I’d ever get
would be a stoic monologue
about the nature of the universe
and its tendency to dissolve
into nothingness
without a moment’s notice.

I can make many a soul
uneasy
with that shrapnel language,
if you can believe it.

Squandered


No frills; we must tend
to the squandered beef on I-94.
Its recent turn to uselessness
in the eye of the discerning omnivore
stands in line behind a factory’s
striking rendition of a human,
chimney stacks puffing away.

No more bandying Comanche warriors
duking it out for second-class status;
Uncle Sam saw to their dissolution
while whispering “you just be good, now.”

Every part of the steer in use
would be the ideal situation here,
though idealism took a flying leap
off George Washington’s nose
when the stone masons weren’t looking.

Milquetoastery


Full, rich dunwoody grey
Eisenhauer beetle nuisance contraptions–
nether regions never unlinked.

Stoneworthy boysenberry preservatives
prattle on for the sole purpose of
gentrifying the least-suspicious ones
of any given group:

those righteous pioneers
of evangelical milquetoastery
who never fail to make straw hats
look more elegant on anybody but them.

Straw hats, beanies, pork pies,
snapbacks–their notion
that any headwear
is better than
no headwear
is a flat-out lie.

Milieu


There’s a piece of gentle wood
on that tray, name of Rockefellon:
Nomad Juggler Extraordinaire.
He currently traverses
the water chestnut fields
of Animosity Central,
the ironically-titled
decentralized milieu
for spatially-challenged
graduates of spoken word school.

Delirium


Delirium be me middle name, aye.
Ye may also call me the grossest,
most indefatigable shroom tripper,
spawned from the native
egalitarian egret something or other
in combination with a spokesperson
for our most advanced bleach formula,
now carcinogen-free!*

*New carcinogens are being discovered every day, and we cannot guarantee your safety beyond the scientific accomplishments hitherto hailed as gospel among most legitimate collectives of scientists. Please keep this information in mind when shopping around for your next purchase of laundry detergent, particularly when using cash, debit or any other payment method that typically doesn’t involve built-in spending incentive programs.

Beefeater


“Turn strange, fair beefeater,”
Curtisson mentioned on the car ride
over to the museum. “Your
toner-rich inconceivability
leaves behind the tragic old
misconception of the garlic-laden
bindling-gebaut, untold though
not unmade or unmasked, undeveloped,
penning the pennies through the portrait
of a golem in trouble with the law.”

Is that man’s law or God’s law?
I prefer to think of it as God slaw:
nice and crunchy with a musical quality
once it’s making its way back to the soil.

“We only have seven score paper clips
left in the entire warehouse; I said
we shouldn’t panic, but I was putting on
my brave face, hoping things would
turn themselves around. But they’ve just
turned strange, fair beefeater, and
we’d better figure out our whole
monument situation, pronto.”

*AUDIO* Quick (Tasty) Morsels 1: None of a Your Beeswax, Sonny


Here’s the first of a series of revisited poems that are read without commentary, very minimally. I found difficulty with the podcast format, confining myself to just the extended recording. But then I realized that people enjoy variety, and I enjoy working on a variety of styles on a regular basis, never restricting myself to a single project or ideal. Sometimes that kind of behavior can be shackling–it can lead to treading water in numerous areas instead of swimming in a handful.

Eh, live and learn.

So that’s what brings us to today! Quick (Tasty) Morsels is designed for your jet-setting citizen of the 21st Century, snack-sized recordings that are sure to raise just as many questions as they answer.

Cheers and enjoy!

None of a Your Beeswax, Sonny

A Winston box
ain’t none of a your beeswax, sonny,
we’re full up here.
Scram, you dig?

I mean, turpentine torpedo stitching
needn’t apply for a permit
before March 1st, or when
the next available March Hare
comes in for an appointment.

*AUDIO* ARK HIVES 1: 02/19/2014


Notice the lo-fi-ness? Yeah, it was an accident at first, but now I really like the idea of fuzzy recordings for the archives. Makes it feel older, yanno? It’s also reminiscent of Tom Waits’ lo-fi recordings of him telling stories.

So ya, here are the pieces I read for this recording:

Subconscious to the Rescue

Pile the sandbags and twirl the belts,
we’re not gonna lose our dishes to the wind
if I have anything to say about it!

Pile it all up, all that crap you never expected
you’d need to keep the mental tempest at bay.

No use questioning it at this point,
your brain sent out the SOS two days ago,
and I sincerely apologize for arriving so late.
You’d never believe the cross-country traffic.

***

Hit the Road

With fists would be too bloody,
so we picked the feet instead.

Stomping full speed ahead
with soles at our disposal,
we fully intended to swing
by the 24-hour bakery for
some half-price doughnuts
and a snifter of cider
on the house (if Freddy
decided to be kind to us).

Our plans changed, and
we began flipping pancakes
until we could find
a tangible solution.

It struck me like butter
and I scraped my elbow
on the doorway as I
hurried outside to yell

“America knows the truth
about agribusiness
and systemic starvation
of impoverished nations,
just ask the government!”

A sniper’s round whizzed
past my ear and I took
no time getting out of there,

though I lost my clothes
while going so fast,
an issue that pops up
more often than you think it should.

***

Bigfoot Carbon

It’s like I’m trying to crack
some Russian terrorist organization’s database

before the rubber ducky
explodes all over the train tracks
during the afternoon commute
away from the lovely metropolis
that affords so many people
the luxury of living 30 miles away
and commuting every day

to earn their big fat paychecks
while leaving bigfoot carbon prints

if they choose not to commute by rail.
But they can do whatever they want,
because having substantial sums of money
makes a person immune from criticism
and the need to change lifestyle.